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Sony PlayStation Vita 3G coming to Vodafone next February: The real PSP Phone?

A UK release date has been announced for the 3G & Wi-Fi version of the Sony PlayStation Vita. It’s coming on the 22nd of February 2012 and it’ll be available to buy exclusively from Vodafone.

There’s not yet any available details on exactly how you’ll be able to buy this, i.e. on a contract with a set amount of data to use each month or outright with you topping up 3G data on a pay-as-you-go basis. There’s been no price announced for the PAL version of the PS Vita either.

In a chat with Vodafone we were told that though it has exclusive selling rights on the PS Vita 3G, the devices won’t be carrier-locked. Meaning you could buy the 3G & Wi-Fi PS Vita on pay-as-you-go and pop any 3G-active SIM card in there.

Currently priced at £279.99 on Amazon (for the 3G & Wi-Fi version) this gives us an idea of how much it could go for from Vodafone.

But is it a PSP Phone? Will you be able to make calls on it?

To a degree. You’ll be able to enjoy free Skype-to-Skype voice calling through the Skype app. But this will limit your ability to make calls to areas where 3G coverage is abundant. So it’s not a full fledged PSP Phone, until Skype works out a way to stream calls across EDGE and GPRS as well – even then it’d be patchy and would in all probability hoover up your data allowance in no time flat.

Sony has previously said that it “didn’t include the phone feature [on the Vita] because we felt it was not absolutely necessary to realise our aims.”

You will however be able to access the PlayStation Store and PlayStation Suite, check on other gamer’s achievements and access “unique location based services” from the Vita.

It’s not then a replacement of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, the long-awaited ‘PSP Phone’ hopeful that perhaps fell short of everyone’s dreams. With more Sony devices bearing the PlayStation Certified emblem (see the S1 and P tablets) we don’t think that the idea of a fully-fledged PSP Phone can be written off yet.

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